Meade DSI Pro II vs. Atik - 16ic
Posted 22 May 2007 - 04:17 PM
Looks like the chips in each are different but I don't know enough to tell which is the better one. The atik 16ic has the Sony ICX424AL chip while the DSI has the Sony ICX429ALL. Pixel size is different but don't know if it's enough to make a difference. Resolution seems a little higher on the DSI while the Atik has cooling built-in.
Anybody have any thoughts on these 2 cameras? While the type of scope I will be using matter in making my decision?
Posted 23 May 2007 - 02:39 AM
One more possible issue is power, it's convenient to run a CCD with just a USB cable if possible - don't know if you can do that with the DSI or not, but i'd expect the cooled camera to need power?
If you want the safe bet, buy the DSI Pro II, that's well regarded and I don't think you would regret the choice. I'd go for the cooled camera though, i'd prefer the lower noise.
As for pixel size, as a beginner you want to aim for about 2.5 arc seconds/pixel or so, so if you have a long focal length 'scope then bigger pixels are better. However, with these two I don't think there's enough of a difference in pixel size to matter.
Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:14 AM
Posted 23 May 2007 - 11:42 AM
I had sent an email to one of the online retailers that carries these cameras and got a reply that the Atik was the better choice. He did not provide any data to back his statement up nor did he say anything bad about the DSI, just said the Atik was superior on all levels. Oh he did say the software with the DSI was "quirky". All that is fine but I would like to find some data to support his statements.
While I know I would most likely be very happy with the DSI, would I "outgrow" the DSI quicker than the Atik?
Posted 23 May 2007 - 12:29 PM
Another option if you have the money is the Atik ATK-16 - http://www.perseu.pt...oduct_atk16.php which has the same CCD as the DSI Pro II but is cooled. Looks very good to me.
As for the software, I never liked the DSI software and much prefer something like AstroArt. But I think it's personal preference, I don't think the DSI software is that strange.
But I wouldn't worry too much, they both look good and the DSI Pro II results speak for themselves.
Posted 23 May 2007 - 12:52 PM
The software for the DSI is made for a novice, I wouldn't say it is quirky but it could use a upgrade. Then again if you don't like it you can use K3CCDtools or something like that (cheaper than AstroArt, Maxim and the such)
Look around here ( cloudynights) and see the work people are producing with the DSI Pro II there is some pretty good stuff IMHO.
The Atik imagers gets real good if you pick the Sony 285 chip. That is a nice imager, again IMHO.
Posted 23 May 2007 - 02:09 PM
I do live in a warm climate (Southern California) but didn't I see somwhere that you can add a fan to the DSI ?
Posted 23 May 2007 - 04:33 PM
I have the Meade cooling fan on mine and I find it useful when the ambient air temperature gets up in the 75-85 F range, above that the air around here is usually too hazy to image anyway. With the DSI Pro thermal noise starts to become a problem when the ambient air temperature gets up around 80F, the fan buys you about 10F, or up to around 90F. The Pro II is supposed to run quieter than the Pro which may make it better suited to warm weather imaging. The Pro II also has a built-in temperature sensor to automatically select the right dark frame once you've built up a library of darks.
There are undoubtedly better cameras available, but the DSI series is a good value.
Posted 24 May 2007 - 12:59 AM
Have you read Wodaski's "the New CCD Astronomy"? That contains a lot of good information about how to pick a CCD, which might help. Excellent book.
Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:58 AM
Posted 24 May 2007 - 12:49 PM
Posted 24 May 2007 - 12:54 PM
Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:13 PM
Posted 05 June 2007 - 11:26 AM
Which scope did you image this through?
I have been looking at the 16IC also as I would like a monchrome imager that has active cooling.
Posted 05 June 2007 - 11:36 AM
Posted 05 June 2007 - 12:04 PM
Posted 06 June 2007 - 04:37 PM
Posted 06 June 2007 - 11:32 PM
edit: from the point of simple dark frames, the Atik appears to have much lower background noise and many fewer hot pixels than the DSI - that's no surprise as it's cooled. Controlling the DSI's noise with dark frames should not be a problem (some of the SBIGs are very noisy, but people still take excellent images with them). However it would seem that the DSI needs careful use of dark frames to get the best performance (and, as it is uncooled, these would need to be retaken every night - ideally a stack of dark frames would be used, and, for long subs, this takes time). On the other hand the ATIK may well be usable without darks, which is a big convenience if nothing else.
Posted 07 June 2007 - 08:44 AM
Posted 07 June 2007 - 11:19 AM
In practice I guess what matters is the SNR when imaging, but I don't know how to assess that.
Posted 07 June 2007 - 12:00 PM
Posted 07 June 2007 - 12:25 PM
ATIK DSI min 175 0 max 20050 63796 average 272 849 std dev. 50.2 945
but I don't think that's surprising, a 20 degree centigrade dark is about a worst-case scenario for a DSI (it would be rare to use it at a higher temperature) and of course the cooled ATIK will have lower noise. DSI owners will need to use darks, but figuring out that isn't exactly rocket science from me either
What I can't figure out is to what extent the lower noise of the ATIK compensates for the lower red sensitivity. I think i've hit the limits of what I know
Posted 07 June 2007 - 12:34 PM